Carl Reiner knew he wanted to be an actor -- preferably a Shakespearean actor -- from the time he was wearing knee pants. Trained in New York's Works Progress Administration Dramatic Workshop, he spent the war years touring with Maurice Evans' G.I. Hamlet, appearing with another young hopeful, Howard Morris. After the war he accumulated scores of stock company and Broadway credits, then in 1948 made his television debut in the short-lived series Fashion Story. While starring in NBC's 54th Street Revue, he was hired as one of the regulars on Your Show of Shows, appearing on a weekly basis with Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, and old pal Howie Morris. During the scripting sessions for Show of Shows, Reiner became friends with a bombastic staff writer named Mel Brooks, with whom he improvised a number of wild stream-of-consciousness comedy bits that would eventually crystallize as the classic "2000 Year Old Man" routines.